An unknown author once said, “If we try to see something positive in everything we do, life won’t necessarily become easier, but it will become more valuable.” There are two sides to every situation. You can either look at a glass half empty or a glass half full. If you think of it as a glass half full then you have a more positive outlook. Most people and things can be classified as being good or bad and most times you can come up with a good slant if you look hard enough. Thinking in a positive manner (the glass is half full) helps us to take on the world and prevents us from giving up. It is all in the perspective.
Several theories exist that can help change a negative attitude into a positive one. In the learning theory, the subject has a positive emotional response to certain things because good things happen when the situation or thing is in action. An example of this is the baseball player who has to wear the beaten up, smelly and overused baseball hat to all the big games because he has had good luck with it and he associates it with victory. The team doesn’t win because of the hat, but it may win because of the increased productivity of the player who believes in and wears the hat. The positive attitude is learned from an emotional response. Learning theory is directed by personal experience or by observing others.
When someone persuades you to think differently or change your attitude, the elaboration theory is at work. In this theory, change occurs because you are motivated to listen and think about the situation. This is similar to choosing a political candidate. You may start out supporting one candidate, but after a debate or TV commercial, you might change your mind to support the other one.
Dissonance theory is a difficult one. A person might have some very strong beliefs in something and in order to change their mind or attitude, they must set aside these beliefs. Someone with a Christian background may have a difficult time if their son tells them he is gay. They may struggle for a while with the belief that homosexuality is thought of as a sin according to their religion, but they might side-line that belief because they love their son and they may believe that God may have a greater plan. These theories all work to change an attitude.
Mental change can help to change a negative attitude to a positive one. The following are some of those mental changes:
1. Literally, take control of your brain and force yourself to find something positive about a person or situation. A person I know has been going to college on and off for six years in order to get a library science degree. During her last year of school she developed a problem with her eyes and became partially blind. Her vision was limited so much that she could not read. Most people would have given up and quit school, but she went on to learn braille and is pursuing a career as a teacher and librarian for the blind. She didn’t quit. She took control and did something about the situation.
2. Stop living in the past or dwelling on the future. The present is here and now, so don’t miss a minute of it. The past cannot change, but you control the present and that affects the future. Make the best of it. Although this may seem like a simple paragraph in an eBook, it is one of the most important things that you can ever master for happiness and a great attitude through life. Learn how to live in the “Now” for increased happiness and positive attitude. Check out this YouTube video by Eric Tran of Oprah Winfrey interviewing Eckhart Tolle about the Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle Interview With Oprah The Power of Now YouTube, to truly realize the power of living in the moment!
3. Avoid negative words like “can’t” or “won’t”. Using the words “can” and “will” gives your brain a shift and you will actually start to think in a positive manner. There is something to that children’s story, “The Little Train that Could”. In the story the little train experienced a big hill and he made it up that hill just by saying the iconic words, “I think I can,” over and over again and never giving up! I can’t tell you how many successful people have been superstars just because they just never gave up. They never gave up on a play, they never gave up on a day, they never gave up on their beliefs, they never gave up on themselves and they just kept on pushing forward. Some people call it heart, others will, and other tenacity, but what it all boils down to is developing an unwavering belief in yourself and your goals and then just moving towards them every day while never giving in. Some days will be better than others, but that desire to keep moving forward is something all the great ones throughout history have had.
4. Many people have a hard time accepting change, but without change life would be very boring. Accept change and make a new strategy. Remember when things change, there is always an opportunity for great success for those who look for it.
5. The power of attitude is not always understood. Negative attitudes foster anxiety, anger, bitterness and envy. When those emotions take hold, you might make some negative decisions that can affect your life adversely. If you choose to remain positive, the likelihood of making a decision that can enhance your life is very good. When you have a positive attitude, your reactions tend to be positive. If your child is misbehaving, you will tend to handle the situation with more compassion and with more kindness if you have a positive attitude. The same holds true for a variety of other situations that may come up in your life.
WATCH OUT FOR NEGATIVITY
The following items are things you need to watch out for in order to keep positive and to not slip into a negative thought or action:
The brain has a habit of slipping negative thoughts into your head. Ignore them. It is natural to have worries, but you do not have to dwell on them. If you do, they tend to look more serious than they really are.
Find the silver lining. Always try to find something good. Maybe Uncle Pete has a problem with alcohol, but maybe he is also a kind hearted soul who just needs a little help.
Remember that sometimes an event that turns out less than what was expected, can still lead to something good. Do the best you can with the situation. I was at a wedding reception held in a park. Part of the reception was held under tents while the other was in an enclosed and very small pavilion. The wind blew up and rain fell in sheets causing all the guests to pile in the crowded pavilion. Then the electricity went out. The bride and groom took it in stride. Candles were lit and some other friends lit the area with their cell phones. The food was served and was mostly hot and the guitarist from the band pulled out his acoustic guitar and we still could dance. It was all very romantic and quite beautiful.
Lighten up! Avoid taking yourself so seriously. If you lessen your ego, you become less paranoid and enjoy life more. Be sure to check out a fan favorite book of mine for more details on this: Laughter and Humor Therapy.
Accept trials and tribulations; they make us what we are. Do you think you would learn without having difficulties? Anything worth having has to be worked for or fought for. Learning to deal with a difficult boss gives you the ability to become a great leader if only to learn what not to do.
A study conducted at Stanford Research Institute showed 87.5 percent of success comes from attitude and a mere 12.5 percent from knowledge and abilities. Attitude has great power and changing from a negative attitude to a positive one will have more influence than is comprehensible. The famous saying is more true than you can imagine “It only takes one bad apple to spoil the bunch.”
To be more positive, check out this very old Italian proverb which states, “Since the house is on fire, let us warm ourselves.” Sure, the house is burning down, but at least we are warm.
If you have problems changing your attitude, you might want to read several of my other e-books. I have written books on Happiness, Inspiration, Motivation, Ultimate Health and Personal Growth that will give you some great suggestions to help you become a mighty hero/heroine in this life. Another one of my bestselling books on Habit can help you to easily make good positive habits and explain in great detail how to eliminate bad habits.